SI Metric-Matters

cover - SI Metric Matters: A dictionary of International UnitsA Dictionary of International Units

Around the world you have probably seen road signs with the symbol 'Km'. Perhaps you've also seen packets of rice or sacks of potatoes or a market stall with a metric weight label 'Kg'. Both of these symbols are inkorrect because the capital letter K is used. The symbol 'kg' does not have a plural form. In fact a leading American Dictionary (Merriam-Webster) accepts the word 'inkorrect' exists!

One person who likes to promote correct metric symbols is Philip Bladon. He has worked overseas as a science teacher and school administrator for many years. Philip is keen to ensure that students and colleagues write 'km' and 'kg' (not 'Km' and 'Kg'). He also points out that the correct symbol for 'kelvin' (the unit for thermodynamic temperature) is 'K' (not °K), the wrong symbol appears in some science textbooks.

SI Metric-Matters is promoting the use of International units with the correct names and symbols. Philip Bladon, from Worcestershire, in the United Kingdom, has compiled A Dictionary Of International Units. His book is filled with official SI units, 'Le Système International d' Unités', designated SI in all languages.

This book not only provides an excellent reference source for science students throughout their careers; it's also a fascinating book for trivia buffs and a delight for enthusiasts of the board game Scrabble®.  When you buy a copy you will soon enrich your vocabulary and discover unusual prefixes.  In addition to familiar prefixes like 'kilo' and  'milli'  there are eighteen more that can be used for multiples and submultiples of SI units.

With this dictionary, teachers can help promote the correct metric names and symbols and give guidance on how to write numerical values correctly. And it's not just in High schools and Secondary schools where this book is being used; Primary, and Junior school teachers around the world are finding it useful.

For non-scientists it is full of interesting information, introducing them to a broader spectrum of words and concepts.  Words like yoctobecquerel or zettasteradian provide a key into a new world of probing and discovery.  A browse through this paperback or the ebook version can be extremely illuminating (unit: yottalux).

Symbologists and symbolists can ponder over character sizes, for example: 'Zs', 'zs', 'ZS', 'zS', and hundreds more!

Historians will discover the six nationalities of the 19 scientists whose surnames have been used for SI (metric) units. The first letter of these unit names is not capitalized.  In schools these scientists can be presented on a timeline; this might be done as part of a student exercise during a country's national science week; an ideal way to help promote cross-curricular activities linking History, Mathematics, Languages, and Presentation skills.  

Compared to the large, technical, and expensive ISO, (International Standards Organisation), documents on SI units available from Geneva, Philip Bladon's Dictionary Of International Units is excellent value and it presents information in an  original, and interesting way.

Based on a review in 'The International Educator' (February 2006).


A Dictionary Of International Units Metric-Matters: Names and Symbols

Philip Bladon. 2005, Second Edition 2006  
Published: iUniverse.

ISBN: 13: 978-0-595-37115-0  (paperback)
ISBN: 13: 978-0-595-81515-9  (ebook)

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